Monday, November 30, 2009

Dang that Baby Corn!

Originally uploaded by "kyle"

Dear Can of Baby Corn-

The hell? How do you keep ending up in my pantry? I NEVER purchase you. I've donated you to the food bank at least three times. And yet here you are. Again. Stony, steadfast utterly useless. Baby corn, you are beginning to drive me insane.

Even if I wanted to use you, I wouldn't know how. Grill you and take tiny little bites? Put you in a blender, add yogurt and turn you into a smootie? I am at a loss.

Baby corn, your persistence is staggering. The can of water chesnuts with the dents: understandable. I bought those last year in what I've dubbed The Great Rumaki Experiment of 2008. It has become an upriorious, once-a-year pantry joke. The twelve cans of black beans? Leftovers from The Over-ambitious Chili Run of 2007. But you, Baby Corn? You're like an unwelcome spectre in a new home and you must be exorcised.

Please leave. 'K Thanks.

Laura Francis

P.S. Take the can of mandarin oranges with you.

Friday, November 27, 2009


This week I booked a vacation for the family. It is the first time all four of us will be going someplace hot to sit on a beach and you would think that this would make me deliriously happy. Sadly, it has not. For now I am obsessed with the following:

Bad weather.
Child sickness.
Acts of God.

Make. It. Stop.

How do you keep your brain from spiraling out of control, followers?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

40 Things I've Learned in 40 Years - Part 2

When pancakes go bad.
Originally uploaded by waihey
Below are a few more observations -of the existential variety-brought on by turning forty.

11. You always mess up the first pancake. (This can also be applied to child-rearing. In a metaphorical sense, of course...)

12. Never peak early. (This works on soooooo many levels.)

13. You will become your parents, if you're not careful. (That one's for you, Ed.)

14. When someone says, "This isn't going to hurt it bit", they are usually lying.

15. We aren't our kids. And they aren't us.

16. Dammit, if bacon and whipped cream don't make EVERYTHING taste better. (Except together. Definitely, not together.)

17. Accents do not necessarily = smarter. (Hello?! Colin Farrell.)

18. Employees are always the last to know.

19. Stores with staff made up entirely of straight male are often shockingly disorganized. (I'm just saying......)

20. High heels are the devils on the feet, angels on the calves.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fur, Baby!

Like many women, I am not immune to the draws of fashion but I would be loathe to call myself a slave to it. I am well-enough-versed in its tenets, for instance, to know when to say no to rhinestone-infested blouses, pleather-pants and dresses that look like migratory birds (Holla, Bjork!) Some, sadly, are not. No, judgement, Lady Gaga. No judgement.

To that end, I was fortunate enough last night to have attended a fashion show, in our town. Throughout the evening, there were several draws and, damn it, if I didn't manage to win one of them. Intraweb, I am now the proud owner of a fox fur scarf! (N.B. PETA card, not included).

I joked with the ladies before I left that upon returning home I was going to convince my husband that I had purchased it. Here's how that scene went.

Subject enters room where her husband is watching Frontline and stands in the Sears catalogue style. She is stroking her new scarf in an effort to be noticed.

Me: Hi, Honey! How was your night?
Husband: It was okay. You HAVE to watch this episode of Frontline. It's really well-done.
Me: I will. (Silence) Do you notice anything different about me? (Pause) Anything at all?
Husband: Is that a new...(He quickly scans her outfit and struggles to find anything out of the ordinary)....coat?
Me: No. (More Silence). Really. Nothing? You notice nothing?
Husband: Nothing, I guess, except for maybe that dead rat around your neck.
Me: That's better.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009


To my delight this week, I discovered that a few of my friends were Grammar Nazis. (Holla, Tracey! ) I say "delight" because I, too, have secretly been a stickler for correct grammatical usage. Heck, I even married one! And don't get him started on the incorrect usage of apostrophes. It ain't pretty!

Which got me thinking: are there any phrases in the popular lexicon that drive you insane. Here are a few of my favorites:

To be continued.....(ARGH!)

Hold on. I have a call on the other line. (Someone more important that me, I presume....)

Can you hold? (No. Don't ask!)

Can I ask you a question? (You just did.)

What's IS that?! (It's the tone with this one. The TONE!!!!!)

Relax........ (Again: tone.)

P.S. Just writing them drove me into a white hot rage. I may have to go put some food on top of this anger.......

P.P.S. My blog is featured this week at Enjoy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tea Brain

I love tea and cannot get enough of it.

If you love it so much why don't you marry it, you ask? I would but I'm already spoken for so there. I said.

I wasn't always so uxorious where the world's most popular beverage was concerned. Growing up, I thought tea nasty: the taste was bitter, the temperature too hot to truly refresh and the time it took to get a proper cup was not commensurate with the commercial breaks for Charlie's Angels. Ah, youth.

In fact, the sound of a kettle brewing is so intermingled with my development that whenever I hear the piercing screech of one in full boil I have to overcome the urge not to scream, "Dad! Kettle!" and then sigh like a petulant teenager.

Ironically, I now drink as many cups as my father did and, like him, I also make it cup by cup. On demand, as they say in the parlance. That is, until this weekend when I discovered something astounding: my teapot. Did you know that you only have to make one teapot and then you can have all day?

Who knew? It is little revelations like these that, hopefully, will keep you reading.....

P.S. Big shout out to the new followers! Paul, Jill, Blackbird, Denise, Tracey. You keep reading and I'll keep cranking out the funny. And if you haven't joined, what the hell are you waiting for?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

B's Movies! Not His Mother Movies...Dammit!

the prestige
Originally uploaded by bedobedin
Last week, I launched a new feature called, B's Movies, with the sole purpose of sharing my son's joie of film to vous (Sorry, French language. Every once in a while I get the desire to massacre you).

Anyway, a few weeks back, he'd asked me, out o the blue, to name a few of my favorite actors and when I asked him the same, he mentioned Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale.

"Hey! Did you know that they were in the same movie together once?" No, he didn't, was his reply and could he please see the celluloid result? Why, yes! I exclaimed because sitting through 2 hours of Jackman and Bale = no eye tax.

Big mistake.

Three quarters of the way through the film, he asked if we could please stop the film. Why, asked? Are you not enjoying it? I, of course, was engrossed. His reply: I don't like how Christian Bale is acting towards his wife. Interesting. And while we are it, Wolverine is also being a bit of an a-hole, too (my words here, not his.) The movie was turned off and I then made an effort to explain the intricate plot twist of this movie to my 9 year-old.

And then it occured to me: It personally took me two seperate viewings to figure out the plot twists in this movie! There was the confusing twin motif to absorb, magic tricks to figure out, David Bowie with brown hair. Plus, the second time I watched it a few months later, I had my sister asking me WTF was going on every 5 minutes. Bad choice, I thought, as I sent him off to bed to have nightmares.

But, not to worry, as this story has a happy ending. The next evening, Benoit and his father rented the film, Aliens. His review:


B: "Sing-gorry Weaver is my new favorite actress."
Me: "Better than Jessica Alba?"
B: "Oh yeah. Waaaaaay better."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Target carts.
Originally uploaded by itsbriannabbyx3
Today I went into Toronto to bring my mother some food. She has been sequestered at home with the swine flu and the only thing that is going to dig her out of her predicament is rest, nourishing foods and the newest John Irving novel. Godspeed to recovery, Nana. Godspeed.

I decided to hit Whole Foods for her supplies because the parking is free, their line-ups aren't too long and there was $100 burning a hole in my wallet (How do people shop there daily without taking out a line of credit ? How?! It should be called Whole Wallet) After a quick shop, I headed towards my car to deliver the groceries.

That's when the problem began. I couldn't get the machine to validate my ticket. Every time I put the ticket into the machine, it would reject it. I must have tried 20 times and every time I attempted to validate the ticket it would be rejected outright. I was being shunned from the village.

Don't panic, Francis, I kept telling myself. Stay calm. There's a solution. I decided to take it up with headquarters, so I got into my car and headed towards the exit where I knew an actual person resided in a booth. They will solve my problem, I thought, as I threaded through the serpentine bowels of the parking garage. They deal with this all the time.

When I arrived at the booth upstairs, I parked my car to the side (not obstructing traffic) and headed into the glassed-in kiosk. There was a woman in there seated at a desk who was - I swear on a stack! - flossing her teeth. In public. At her place of work. Flossing.

I was stunned, intraweb. Stunned.

"Excuse me," I said slightly bewildered, "I hate to interrupt but I'm having a problem with the parking machine and I was wondering...."

"Hold on!" she said, spit flying everywhere. "I'm in the middle of something."

"I see that, " I replied. "So am I! I'm trying to get food to my mother who has a serious illness." Not prevent tooth decay, which is a serious issue too, no doubt, but not entirely in the same category as an international pandemic. "Do you think that you can help me get this ticket validated so that I can be on my way?" It was so hard not to add, "Bee-atch" there at the end, you have no idea.

She looked at me like I was insane, grabbed my ticket and sighed.

"You don't have to pay," she said. "You got validated inside." She pointed at my ticket with her floss hand (Argh!) "Put it through the machine."

Then she pointed to a TV screen on the desk.

"Yeah, I was watching you try to put it in machine. You were pretty frustrated, huh?"

What to say? What to say? Silence.

"You enjoy your day, " I replied.

She nodded at me. "You, too," and then resumed flossing her teeth.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

40 Things I've Learned in 40 Years

My 40th year on the planet has brought on a lot of contemplation (and a lot of wine took me ten tries to correctly spell "contemplation"). Some deep thoughts have emerged, some not so. I would like to share a few with you in the coming weeks:

1/ It's okay to be wrong.

2/ Despite what you will be promised, you can never wear that bridesmaid dress. Never.

3/ If you need your glasses to read then wear them.

4/ The Terrible Twos is amongst one of the most massive misnomers in the popular Western lexicon.

5/ You always feel better after a cry.

6/ It's okay to feel sad after you are referred to as "Ma'am" by a teenager at the supermarket.

7/ People who make the conscious choice NOT to have children are amongst the most evolved on our planet.

8/ Puking is your body doing what it does best: getting rid of shit you shouldn't have in it. (It aint' pretty but it's kinda beautiful, too, when you really think about it).

9/ The human body should and will continue to astound you, if you pay attention.

10/ Flying dreams are our sub-conscious telling us we are doing everything right.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's coming.....

The Snowy Day
Originally uploaded by goldrusher
Every year I forget that it's coming.

I notice that the days are getting shorter, the air in the house drier, the mornings chillier and chillier. I start wanting to make soup and I start obsessing about where we are going to go for March Break.

And yet still I forget.

And then I wake up one morning and there is it: snow.

On the ground, on the car, on the pumpkins I haven't put in the garbage from Halloween, on the leaves I forgot to rake, on the bags of leaves I did, on the bird feeder, on the cat coming in from prowling all night for mice that aren't around anymore, on the garden I haven't turned over, on the car, on the scooter I harangued the kids to put away for the past week, on the neighbor's boat, on the Globe and Mail at the end of the driveway.

And yet not on my mind. Ever. And why not? It comes back every damn year?